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Content strategy

Don't waste energy on cultural battles
Text beats photos online
The nine pillars of a web team
Micro charge for your content
Simple steps to a winning web site
IT vs Communication
How to choose a project manager and team
C'mon, cut the bull
How to boost corporate credibility
How to develop a successful project
When to add music to your site
Web site publicity stunt pays off
Bad sites spark Net rage
A matter of values
Beware the cable/content provider
How to make the most of the holiday season
2002 and the future of the online content industry
Weblogs and the media
All about weblogs
Why you must separate editorial and advertising
No such thing as a free lunch
Why people buy?
Creating content for low-budget clients
The future for content
Keep it fresh
What do site visitors want?
Don't give up on content
Advice and knowledge rules
How to make content pay
What exactly is content anyway?
Survival tips for online content businesses
Good content rewards site owners
Steps on the stairway to content heaven
Dot success in an era of dot bust
Words, not technology, are your best bet
Marketers take note: Content rules
Cameras capture creative content
What do people want online?
Ideas for great content
End of web design

Don't waste energy on cultural battles

Do you ever feel as though you're swimming upstream? That no matter how hard you try, you're getting nowhere?

If you've ever worked for an organisation, of any type, you'll probably know what I mean.

This is my 10th year as a "cyberscribe". During that time I've trained hundreds of would-be web writers on several continents.

One of the most common questions I'm asked is - "How do we convince management and the rest of the organisation to value clear, concise, open communication?"

Tough question. The problem is culture - "the way we've always done things around here".

Asking people to change the way they communicate is asking them to change their mindsets - to drop their defences, share knowledge freely, and stop hiding behind business jargon, PR fluff and bureaucratic bull.

You can feed them facts, stats, user testing and market research to support your case for plain, simple, honest, reader-focused writing but many still won't change.

Ultimately you can only do your best. Why waste your creative energy trying to "convert" threatened non-believers?

Gather your allies and lead by example. If they follow, great. If not, so be it.

The pen (or keyboard) can be a powerful agent for change but we're not paid to be change management experts.

Accept it and/or move on.

PPS for more on cultural pitfalls, revisit my article on "Seven ways to sabotage a web project" in Free Tips (you'll need to log in with your email address first)


25/2/2005

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